Hardesty's History of Wirt County


This district is the most southern in the county; it is bounded 
on the north by Burning Springs, east by Calhoun county, south 
by Roane, and west by Reedy district. The soil is principally 
clay. The surface is rough and broken, and the greater part is 
yet covered with a heavy forest. The timber is oak, poplar, 
beech, hickory, sugar, sycamore, etc. The west fork of the Little
Kanawha river flows in a northern direction through the district.
Big Spring creek flows north, and divides it into two nearly equal
parts. It is nearly thirty miles in length.

The first settlement was made at the mouth of the West fork,
in the year 1800, by Barney McGraw, who built the first cabin at
that place. Soon after his arrival he planted an orchard - the 
first in the Little Kanawha valley - consisting of several apple
trees. The land is now owned by Hiram DePue, and although
these trees are now nearly eighty years of age, they are still 
bearing. Soon after his settlement he was joined by Jonathan
Henderson, William Booher, Peter McCune, James Corbett and 
Benjamin Roberts. 

The first mill was built by James Mays, in 1830; it was a saw 
mill, but in 1840 it became the property of Hiram, David and 
Archibald DePue, who then added grist mill machinery. Thus
they built the first grist mill in the district.

A man of the name of Sledd taught the first school, about the 
year 1830, in a log cabin on the bank of Spring creek. There 
are now six good frame public school buildings in the district.

The first place at which Uncle Sam permitted his mail sacks to
be opened was at the mouth of the West Fork, in a postoffice 
which he established called Creston. It is still continued, and 
another, Shirtzville, has since been added.

The first sermon was preached by it minister of the name of 
Thomas Cunningham. The first church, Baptist, was organized 
by the Rev. Jeremiah Dale. Among the first members were 
Henry DePue, Virginia DePue, Gilmore Bailey, Archibald DePue 
and Julia DePue.

The second church was the Protestant Methodist, among the
first members of which were Jonathan DePue, Harrison Hildreth, 
Melinda DePue, David DePue, Ruth DePue, Hiram Buell, 
V. Vandall and N. Vandall. The first Sabbath-school was organ-
ized in 1850, by Alexander Beatty.

The only village in the district is Shirtzville, laid out in 1879,
by James Corbett.

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